Leaders of the Defence of Pakistan coalition raise their hands in a show of solidarity during a protest rally in Islamabad on July 9, 2012, against the reopening of Nato supply to Afghanistan. - Photo by AFP.

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of supporters of hardline religious groups gathered in the Pakistani capital on Monday to protest their government's decision to re-open supply lines for US-led Nato troops in Afghanistan.

The protest was the largest so far against the reopening of the routes. Shops closed early in Islamabad and police set up barricades and cordoned off roads.

Pakistan suspended Nato supply routes to Afghanistan last November after a cross-border Nato air attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

They were re-opened last week after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologised for the strike.

A survey by the Pew Research Center last month found that three out of four Pakistanis consider the US an enemy, up from 69 per cent last year and 64 per cent three years ago.

Relations have been hurt by a series of events - the border strike, the killing of Osama bin Laden in a unilateral US raid on Pakistani soil, and the fatal shooting of two armed Pakistanis by a CIA contractor.

The march was organised by the Defence of Pakistan Council, an alliance of religious political parties and organisations campaigning for a break in ties with the United States and India.

One of the group's main leaders is Hafiz Saeed, whom India suspects of masterminding attacks on India's financial capital Mumbai and its parliament.

Saeed denies any involvement in the attacks.

More From This Section

Army to take over security of polio teams in KP

The decision was announced after a meeting at the GHQ attended by the representatives of WHO, federal and KP govt

President sacks Pemra chairman

Meanwhile, PM Nawaz Sharif replaced Wapda chief Syed Raghib Abbas Shah with retired bureaucrat Zafar Mehmood.

Negotiators will try to convince TTP to extend ceasefire: Ibrahim

Ibrahim said a number of concerns from the TTP's end had come forward, adding that these should be addressed.

Faisal Raza Abidi resigns from Senate

The PPP Senator on Thursday announced his resignation from the upper house of parliament.

Comments are closed.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
From The Newspaper